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On May 18, 2000, International Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew responded to the recommendations of a Parliamentary review of the Export Development Act, which is the Act governing the Export Development Corporation (EDC). According to Pettigrew, "The way the Corporation addresses these issues will be made more transparent to ensure ongoing public confidence in its operations." The Minister's response states that: The need for an EDC ombudsman will be studied. EDC will conduct public consultations beginning later this month on its Information Disclosure Framework. The Auditor General will...
This project should not go ahead. It has not had proper public consultation and review. It represents too great a potential cost to the environment on the area.
The applications of Canadian United Minerals for permits under the Quartz Mining Act to explore the "Horn claims" are of national significance. They attack the very basis of aboriginal title and interest. They fly in the face of commitments made by the Honourable Robert Nault to protect parks from mining. Granting these permits would represent a foolish step in terms of sustainable development and planning.
On January 11th, MiningWatch Canada presented a plan for dealing with Canada's abandoned mines crisis to the eight members of cabinet most responsible for finding solutions to this issue. The plan calls for: A national inventory of sites for which the federal government carries responsibility, and incentives for the provinces to create compatible databases on sites under their jurisdiction Physical and chemical assessments of all abandoned mines to verify hazards Provision for resources to clean up the worst sites first with a plan to establish the priorities and more research dollars to...
When foreign investment is encouraged in the absence of adequate controls, the results can be very disturbing. This was one of the themes coming out of the "Mining, development, and social conflicts in Africa" conference held by the Third World Network (TWN) in Accra, Ghana on November 14-18, 1999. Participants got to see first hand the impacts of gold mining and exploration on poor farming communities in the Western Region of Ghana. Several Canadian companies operating in the region, including Repadre and St. Jude Resources, are benefiting from favourable treatment by the government at the...
April 14-16, 2000: MiningWatch Canada, together with the Canadian Consortium for International Co-operation (CCISD), is hosting a workshop in Ottawa of 25-30 community leaders from rural and indigenous communities affected by mining around the world. Participants will share their experience in dealing with mining activities and figure out the kinds of research they need in order to respond effectively to the impacts of large-scale mining on their communities. The workshop will enable leaders from these communities to develop a relationship with one another and learn from each other's...
Five years after it came into force, it is time to look at the effectiveness of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA). Under the law, after five years the Minister of Environment must report to Parliament on the adequacy of the law and its implementation, and propose needed changes. Through the Canadian Environmental Network's Environmental Assessment and Planning Caucus, we are involved in the public consultations being sponsored by the Environmental Assessment Agency. This process will continue through March, at which point the interdepartmental wrangling will begin, leading to a...
MiningWatch Canada has initiated a small regional grants program. The goal of the program is to strengthen the capacity of people in communities affected by mining activities to assert their needs and rights. We will fund travel and exchange between community leaders and education and advocacy activities. Maximum grants are $1500. Grant applications are due January 31 and September 30 annually. The applicant must be a grassroots organization with limited funds that relies on volunteers for the majority of its work and has demonstrated the capacity to accomplish the project. We have provided...
The first annual general meeting for MiningWatch Canada will be held in Toronto on Saturday, March 4 at 9am, at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education on Bloor Street. The business portion of the meeting takes place from 9 am to 10 am. Two exciting workshops will follow: Workshop 1: Getting the law obeyed: A panel on monitoring and enforcement in Canada We will examine current problems with monitoring and enforcement of environmental mining standards in Canada, and explore a range of strategies and legal tools to improve monitoring and enforcement of environmental mining standards...
This month, after years of public consultations and negotiations, the Tr'ondek Hwech'in, with the support of environmental groups like CPAWS-Yukon, succeeded in getting 216,000 acres in the Yukon set aside as a park. Tombstone Territorial Park is an area of extraordinary beauty, that contains may sacred sites and places of archaeological significance. The establishing of the park was fought by the Yukon Prospectors and Developers Association and the Yukon Chamber of Mines. In a letter to the Yukon premier published in The Whitehorse Star (November 9, 1999), they claim that the Tombstone area...